Monday, 30 September 2013

Let us oft speak kind words...

What was the last thing your spouse said to you before you started reading this?  Can you remember it?  What was the last thing you said to your spouse?

For most couples, husbands and wives spend some time apart from each other most every day.  There is work, church meetings, going off to buy groceries and taking care of other chores. One thing I try to always remember is to never part from my wife without an expression of love.  Even at 5:50am as I quietly exit the bedroom to drive my daughter to seminary I softly whisper an 'I love you' to to her.  She might hear it, it might just sink into her dream in some way, or go totally unnoticed, but I say it.  If she is awake when I'm going somewhere I'll be sure to give her a kiss on my way out.

Part of it is just having an excuse to hold her in my arms for a bit and indulge in some osculation which is always a pleasure, but another part of it is that I want to be on her mind a bit when I'm not around.  I want her to always remember that I love her, that she means the world to me and it is easier to part from her is I share an intimate moment with her first.  Not to be morbid or overly dramatic, but should something happen to make it our last parting in mortality, I want her last memory of me (or mine of her) to be something loving.

Affection should not be saved for parting however.  Compliments, appreciation, affection, praise, and admiration should not be given out sparingly or grudgingly.  If you have only been saying 'I love you' to your spouse in response to them saying it first, then perhaps it is time to step up and show them that you think things like that without having to be prompted first. 

The more specific a compliment is, the more powerful it is.  I knew somebody who would frequently say 'You're the greatest!' to people he worked with, but it was so general and so over used that it came to mean very little to those he said it too.  If you are going to pay a compliment or give praise then name a specific quality of theirs, cite a specific thing they did or accomplished.

Even if you have to think long and hard to come up with an honest compliment for your spouse (and they must be honest) it is well worth the effort to do so.  The power of a kind word at the right time can be miraculous.  James said:
James 3: 4-5
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.
James was giving warning to the Saints of the strife that can result from poisonous words, but the principle works the other way around also.  The tongue has as much power to heal as it does to destroy.  Or in other words:
Let us oft speak kind words to each other
At home or where'er we may be;
Like the warblings of birds on the heather,
The tones will be welcome and free.
They'll gladden the heart that's repining,
Give courage and hope from above,
And where the dark clouds hide the shining,
Let in the bright sunlight of love. 
Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live
And sunshine forever impart.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.
       -- Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words, Hymn 232
Have you given your spouse a compliment today?  Have you told them you love them?  Have you praised anything about them or anything they've done lately?  If not, perhaps it is time to stop reading and go do it.  If you have, why not go do it again right now? 

1 comment:

  1. Very true. I have found that I was taking him for granted and the distance was slipping between us. Our counselor worked with us on the power of of words and simple kindnesses. Amazing the difference in our marriage and the dramatic improvement in our day to day joy. Good reminders.